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Polls Show More Filipinos Doubt Duterte's Drug War

FILE An agent (R) of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) escorts suspects during a raid at an informal settlers' area inside a public cemetery in Manila on March 16, 2017.

More than half of Filipinos surveyed believe police unjustly killed many people arrested in the government's anti-drug crackdown, according to a new opinion poll.

Police have reported killing 3,850 suspected drug dealers who allegedly resisted arrest in president Rodrigo Duterte's 15-month war on drugs.

But a new poll conducted by Social Weather Stations released Wednesday said 54 percent of the 1,200 people it surveyed said many of those killed by police did not really put up resistance. Another 25% were undecided.

Forty-nine percent of those polled said they believe many of those killed by police were not drug pushers.

The poll, conducted from June 23-26, is the first to indicate a majority of Filipinos are unhappy with the state's crackdown on drugs, which has been criticized by rights groups and world leaders.

An March poll conducted by SWS showed slightly higher approval of the drug crackdown, with support for Duterte high as citizens believed he was unafraid to take action.